OK, so I skipped putting No. 5 in a blog post. My sincerest apologies for that. Being under the weather is not very conducive to blog posting. But anyway, here’s a look at the Super 7 that appeared in today’s Daily Times. Records don’t include Thursday’s games, but I’ll still talk about those if need be.
1. Chester (13-3, 5-0) Last week: No. 1.
You know the drill by now. The Clippers stay on top after steamrolling Chichester, Interboro and Glen Mills and notching an impressive nonleague win over Gonzaga Prep (D.C.) at the HoopHall Classic. Darius Robinson has been on fire of late, his play highlighted by a 39-point outburst in only three quarters against the Eagles, and reigning Daily Times Player of the Year Rondae Jefferson has been his usual self since returning to the lineup after missing four games with a shoulder injury. Richard Granberry averaged right around 15 points per game in that stretch and was particularly good in a comeback win over Penn Wood Thursday night.
2. Archbishop Carroll (13-3, 5-2) Last week: No. 2.
The Patriots are very good and posted a big nonleague win over Sanford (Del.), but they’re struggling to come away with a marquee win in Catholic League play. They’ve dropped decisions to Neumann-Goretti, Roman Catholic (albeit without All-Delco point guard Yosef Yacob) and fell again Friday in a nailbiter against St. Joseph’s Prep. That said, Nick Jones has been very good of late and Derrick Jones has been, well, Derrick Jones. Sophomore center Ernest Aflakpui is also progressing nicely and he had a key block to help Carroll pick off Sanford.
3. The Haverford School (14-5, 5-1) Last week: No. 3.
Shawn Alston has been nothing short of phenomenal this year for the Fords. He drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to help THS knock off Springside Chestnut Hill and has been as consistent a scoring threat as anyone in the county. Junior forward Eric Anderson has also been a consistent scoring threat in Inter-Ac play, while Derek Mountain has come on strong with his play of late. The Fords will have a chance to control their destiny for a split the Inter-Ac title if they can take down Germantown Academy at home Feb. 1.
4. Glen Mills (10-5, 4-1) Last week: No. 4.
The Battlin’ Bulls were well-positioned to be the Del Val’s No. 2 team and had strong wins over Penn Wood on the road and West Chester Rustin, but then they inexplicably dropped one to a slumping Interboro team Thursday. Expect a drop in next week’s Super 7 for that. Jay’re Jackson has maintained his torrid scoring pace, though, and Chester native Jah-bree Alleyne‘s play is coming on strong. Can the Mills atone for that loss to Interboro by sweeping the season series with Penn Wood?
5. Penn Wood (11-4, 3-2) Last week: No. 5.
Oh, my. The Patriots had archrival Chester on the ropes Thursday and couldn’t put the Clippers away. It’s hard not to feel for Clyde Jones‘ bunch, especially since Penn Wood played so well in the first 2 1/2 quarters of the game. But that’s the type of learning experience the Patriots need, especially with such a young team. Tyree Bynum has been a mainstay atop the scoring leaderboard this year and Secean Johnson has greatly benefited from a move to power forward. Jones also sang the praises of sophomore point guard Addison Scott, whose minutes and stats have improved since taking over for the dismissed Jerry Price.
6. Ridley (14-2, 9-2) Last week: Not ranked.
The Green Raiders dropped out for losing to a suddenly-shaky Penncrest team, but with the Lions’ loss to Garnet Valley, it seemed logical to bump Ridley back up after that hiccup. Zain Shaw has been a more consistent force for the Green Raiders of late, including 14 points and 17 rebounds in a 52-50 win over Conestoga, and Mike Smoluk has also improved his scoring numbers. Jon McGill and Kenny Bartow have been their consistent, reliable selves.
7. Episcopal Academy (13-7, 2-3) Last week: No. 6.
A scrappy team that gets by without scoring much. The Churchmen dropped a game to archrival Haverford School, but they’re still a solid team which poses a threat on a nightly basis. Sophomore point guard Mike Jolaoso continues to improve, while Matt Angelos has been on a hot streak of late. Connor Martin connected for a season-high 10 points against the Fords. A win tonight over Germantown Academy would throw the Inter-Ac into some turmoil.
Dropped out: Penncrest. Also considered in alphabetical order: Penncrest, Strath Haven, Upper Darby.
– MATT CHANDIK